Special: in a pretty little limestone square amongst the narrow medieval alleys of Mdina (where few cars venture), just around the corner from Mdina Cathedral. Staying here makes you feel a real part of Mdina – I love to wander its narrwo alleys after all the tour groups have gone home and evening peace has descended. This is the time that earns Mdina its nickname, The Silent City, and if you are staying at the Xara you feel a real part of it.
The 10 rooms and seven suites are furnished like an English country house - or the palazzo it once was - with high-backed armchairs and carved wooden coffee tables. Some suites are duplex and a few on the upper floors have terraces with sweeping views and even an outdoor hot tub/jacuzzi.
The central court of the palazzo has been covered over to form the bar, while the original stone staircase winds its way up around it. Original Maltese art and historic domestic objects add interest to corridors and public spaces.
Eating and drinking
The hotel’s main restaurant, De Mondion – with panoramic views over the surrounding countryside – has won top awards from Malta’s restaurant guide for several years running. Locals (with money) love it and it is indeed real fine dining with thick white linen tablecloths, attentive service and food that is both delicious and artistic.
For a quicker and less expensive meal, the Trattoria AD1530 in a warm-wood wine cellar setting next door, also owned by the hotel, is more than adequate and much more family-friendly.
Very good. Quite formal but not to the point of being detached.
Who stays there
Past guests include: Brad Pitt, Sharon Stone, Bruce Willis, and Senators McCain and Liebermann amongst others.
- Culture vultures
- Celebrity spotting
- Escaping the crowds
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- No pool